Pilsen, Czech Republic is a historic city for so many reasons, and is one of the best day trips from Prague. The city has been around for hundreds of years, and has so much history from all different eras. Here are our top things to see when visiting Pilsen, Czech Republic.
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Pilsner Urquell Brewery
Take a Walk
Pilsner Urquell Brewery
Pilsner Beer was first produced in Pilsen in 1842, and the first blonde pilsner in the world, Pilsner Urquell, is still produced there at their factory. Beer has actually been brewed in the city since the 13th century, but it was in the 19th century that pilsner was created.
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While in the Czech Republic, even if you are not in Pilsen, Pilsner Urquell is likely the main type of beer on tap at most bars and restaurants.
If you are visiting Pilsen, whether or not you are a beer fan, a visit to the Pilsner Urquell Brewery is an amazing piece of history. More than 250,000 people visit the brewery each year.
Sign Up for a Tour of the Pilsner Urquell Brewery
During a guided tour, you will see exhibitions of the history and operation of the brewery, the current production line, and the brewery cellars. And you will of course be able to taste the beer.
Group tours take place multiple times a day, and depending upon your language, you can also take a guided tour in many languages. You can book your ticket at the door or in advance (if you’re a planner like me), here.
They also have numerous other events at the Pilsner Urquell Brewery, including
workshops at the Brewery Museum, Pilsner Urquell Beer Drinking School, International Classical Music Festival at the Pilsner Urquell Visitor Center (in March), and many other events and classes.
Directions to the Pilsner Urquell Brewery
The brewery is located just outside of downtown.
The Great Synagogue of Plzeň
The Great Synagogue in Pilsen is by far one of the most beautiful things you will see in the Czech Republic (and that is a high bar). The building began construction in the late 19th century. By the completion of the Great Synagogue in 1893, there were 2,000 Jewish people living in Pilsen.
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The synagogue is still used for worship, but only a small part of it. It hosts concerts, art shows, and is seen more as a museum for the city’s history. There are currently fewer than 100 Jewish people living in Pilsen.
The Jewish population of the town has been there for centuries, and prior to the construction of the Great Synagogue, worship was done mainly in the Old Synagogue, which still exists. The Old Synagogue is located in a courtyard in Smetana’s Parks.
Just around the corner from the Old Synagogue is a touching tribute to the Pilsen victims of the Holocaust.
Directions to the Great Synagogue in Pilsner, Cz.
The Great Synagogue is located in downtown, within walking distance of the parks and Old Synagogue.
Pilsen Holocaust Memorial
The Holocaust Memorial is not a high-profile location in Pilsen, and took us nearly an hour to find (the language barrier in maps did not help). But it is well worth visiting when you are in Pilsen.
The Pilsen Holocaust Memorial remembers the 3,200 victims of the Holocaust that were from Pilsen and was dedicated in 2002. Each person who died has a rock with their name on it, and being surrounded by those rocks gives you an idea of how many people died — even in a smaller town like Pilsen.
Directions to the Pilsen Holocaust Memorial
You can find the memorial located near the Old Synagogue, and to visit the memorial you will not need to pay for admission. Actually, you may not find anyone else there when you visit.
Take a Walk Around Downtown Pilsen
Both the Great Synagogue and Holocaust Memorial are located in downtown Pilsen, and while you are down there, taking a walk is well-worth the efforts.
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The city still showcases most of the history of the last few hundreds of years. The parks and river add some natural beauty to the city as well. You can find plenty of restaurants or bars in town, and a stroll around town makes a visit to Pilsen a relaxing day trip from Prague.